Celebrity visits generating interest

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- As the centennial festivities for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital begin to gain momentum, officials say there is a lot of excitement surrounding the anticipated visit of two celebrities.

Bill Cosby, an internationally known entertainer who portrayed Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," is performing at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Albany Civic Center as part of the hospital's centennial celebration.

On Sept. 8, world-famous animal scientist and autism self-advocate Temple Grandin will be in Albany providing a testimonial at 7 p.m. at the Albany Municipal Auditorium.

The Albany Advocacy Resource Center distributed all of the tickets, which were free of charge, given by Phoebe for Grandin's visit within 48 hours after announcing the availability of seats.

That made for more than 400 reservations.

"I have never seen this kind of response for tickets for a guest speaker in Albany," said Eddie McCarty, the marketing director for Albany ARC.

In attempting to get an approximate count of the tickets sold for the Cosby performance thus far, The Albany Herald contacted the Civic Center box office. A representative said the venue would not be disclosing that information and referred a reporter to Phoebe.

A spokeswoman at Phoebe said she did not know the number of tickets sold, but did indicate that there has been significant interest generated by the upcoming event. An email sent to a spokeswoman for the Albany Recreation and Parks Department, which the Civic Center is under, resulted in contact information for a member of Phoebe's centennial celebration committee being sent to The Herald.

A phone message left for that committee member was not returned Wednesday afternoon.